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Need Utah skiing advice

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Been trying set up avacation package for my husband and 2 kids (19 and 23) to go skiing and boarding in Utah (Salt Lake City area). Need some advice as to which mountain/s to go to and in what area to stay. So many mountains with so little time They will be there for 3 days of skiing. Park City? Canyons? etc????? Thanks for the help. (Easternsers who have not skiied out west!)
post #2 of 13
For 3 days, definitely Canyons, hopefully staying on-mountain. Then go into town with the free shuttle. This mountain sums up West skiing very well: huge, wide, beautiful terrain, etc.

For cheaper accomodations, sleep in Salt Lake and drive the excellent highway to Park City resorts.
post #3 of 13
We need to know a little bit more about you. Budget, skiing skill level, winter driving skills (or lack thereof), what things you like (e.g. powder vs groomers), lesson needs, terrain park needs, crowds+tourists vs small homey and locals, what time of year you are planning for, etc.

In general, the park city triumverant (PC, Deer Valley and the Canyons) get slightly less snow than the Cottonwod canyons quad (Alta, Snowbird, Brighton and Solitude). Because the PC base areas are relatively flat, navigation is easier. Just getting to the CC quad can be an adventure. There are more things to do in the villages on the PC side, but it's easier to have family time (not likely with your teenagers!?) if you stay in the small places at the base village in Alta. On the canyon side, it's easy and CHEAP to stay in town (20 minute drive UP the canyons to get to the resorts) and there are plenty of "city" things to do at night.

All the resorts have roughly similar terrain. Deer Valley is know for it's excellent grooming, but slightly less challenging terrain. Oh - and their food is outstanding and quite expensive. Snowbird is known for its it's tram and excellent terrain. Alta is more of throwback to skiing history (Alta and Deer Valley do not allow snowboards). The Canyons used to be more of a place for local snowboarders but that's changed with the terrain expansion. Solitude and Brighton are smaller, cosier and have a higher percentage of locals to tourists. Park City has the world wide rep. PC has plenty of challenging terrain plus tons of cruisers.

If you're not much for travelling around, I'd spend each day at different resort in either the Park City area or the Cottonwood canyons area.
post #4 of 13
Look at Solitude. It's got a great little base village and Big Cottonwood Canyon is spectacularly beautiful. It's a favorite of local teens and families plus has Alta's snow but allows boarders. They have nice condos and the Silverfork Lodge is a great dinner spot. It's a rustic log place on the access road. The resort is only about 20 miles, if that, from downtown SLC but the canyon is accessed through a dramatic, winding slot with towering cliffs on both sides and then opens up to a broad alpine valley full of tall pine. It's all national forest and feels like a wildnerness. There are only a few cabins up there, some newish condos at Solitude's base, and Brighton resort- a 70's lodge and a ramshakle collection of cabins and a-frames, all but buried in snow. There's only a couple restaurants but the condos have kitchens. For a three day trip, it's a good call. I'd say PC for a longer stay, but the beauty and isolation of Solitude is something else.
post #5 of 13
We spent a month in SLC some years back, on a ski trip, and I remember really enjoying Solitude and Brighton. Solitude had just been building things out of giant yellow logs and it was very impressive. There was no one there, the scenery was gorgeous, and there was a big variety of types of skiing, even a powder mecca out the back called Honeycomb Canyon. Brighton was very laid back and friendly, a bit like alta without all the alta-hype.
post #6 of 13

Wasatch advice...

Having lived here since 1990, in general, I have to agree with most of the above posts, particularly those from a few proponents of Big Cottonwood Canyon.

Basically BCC ski areas are smaller, but unless you ski quite a bit and your skills are solid - not to be too snooty here - LCC, Snowbird/Alta offer practically no advantage in terms of skiing per se. If anything, Brighton and Solitude offer at least as much or more skiing at a level that's fun for more people. Everything that everyone has said here about the beauty of BCC, just as much snow, quality and quantity, as Little Cottonwood, usually about 1/3 as many people there, is all true, in an atmosphere of semi-remoteness that I personally really dig. Not to mention that it's a bit less expensive than LCC and far less expensive than most places on the PC side.

The Silver Fork Lodge is an esoteric favorite - terrific food and quaint atmosphere. If shopping and nightlife is one of the things you're seeking, consider looking elsewhere, i.e. Park City/Canyons/Deer Valley. These places are full blown radical real estate devopement and tourism-oriented ski resort towns with all the amenities/trappings that you would expect.

I trust that your trip will be happy - see you on the hill...!

Smiles!
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyce
Been trying set up avacation package for my husband and 2 kids (19 and 23) to go skiing and boarding in Utah (Salt Lake City area). Need some advice as to which mountain/s to go to and in what area to stay. So many mountains with so little time They will be there for 3 days of skiing. Park City? Canyons? etc????? Thanks for the help. (Easternsers who have not skiied out west!)
You guys are in for a treat!! If you have three days and want to have a good all around time w/ minimal hassle I'd say PC would be a great bet. My home resort is the Canyons so I am partial to it. But it does have great terrain variety, fewer crowds and will be cheaper than DV if not PC. If you are looking to save money or want the absolute most over-the-top skiing/boarding terrain and snow then staying down valley in SLC and doing Snowbird and Solitude is the best bet. If you want to go off the beaten path, take a look at SnowBasin and Powder Mountain. If you do hit the Canyons drop me a line and I'll be happy to show you around the mountain.
post #8 of 13
There's no boarding at DV, but if everyone wants to ski for a day it's great. PC and the Canyons both offer a big mountain feel so there's plenty of terrain thats long, or steep or trees, etc for skiers and boarders.

The town of PC is awake at night so the 20something crew will have somewhere to go...

Its about a 45 min drive to Alta/Snowbird. Lots of powder, and steeps. no boarding at Alta...

This place at the Canyons is nice. The guy that owns it will even ski with you and he knows the mountain well. He worked at PC last year too...
http://www.vrbo.com/48971
post #9 of 13

Slc

I'd never forgive my parents if they took me on an SLC trip and we didn't ride Alta/Snowbird (well, unless I was skiing 2 feet of dry blower powder at the BCC areas of course).
post #10 of 13
The other posts have pretty much hit things right on so far. If anyone in the family is an advanced to expert skier/boarder, gramboh is right, they will not want to miss out on Snowbird Alta IMO. If you stay in Park City for the town vibe, there are shuttles that take you over to Snowbird/Alta for about $15 round trip and for the most part they will pick you up wherever you are staying. As noted its 45 minutes from Park City. If this is everybody's first trip west, then you really can't go wrong whichever place you go. If your goal is to ski powder then either of the two Cottonwood Canyon locations will give you the better odds as they get 100+ more inches than the Park City areas.
post #11 of 13

Utah49

Just a wee bit off-topic but

Utah49

if you see this, please read your PMs
post #12 of 13
I agree with most of what has been said. However, if you want to find the real sleeper area near Salt Lake City do not miss Snowbasin. It is about an hour drive from Downtown or Park City. If you stay in Park City, drive to SBN the "back" way by taking the I-80/I84 loop and you can see bald eagles wintering by the Weber River out near Hennifer or Morgan.Snowbasin is today what BCC was 20 years ago and LCC was 30 years ago: Big mountain with absolutely no crowds. SBN put in all the on-the-hill improvements for the 2002 Olympics (fast lifts and snowmaking) but has yet to build the bed space to make it a destination resort. If you can go during the week, you will be lonely! SBN is only behind Snowbird in sustained vertical. From the top of the Mt Allen tram it close to 3000 vertical with few flat spots. You can only get that at Snowbird. SBN has three high speed lifts with over 2500 vertical so you will definitely get maximum vertticle. The food and decor in the lodges approaches Deer Valley for quality (Snowbasin tries to emulate Sun Valley).No offense to the Canyons fans but, unless you are skiing off trail on a powder day, the groomers at the Canyons are short with big flat runouts = BORING! A powder day at the Canyons is another story, great variety and challenge. The bottom line for a family coming to Utah is YOU CAN'T REALLY GO WRONG. Enjoy the variety and hope your timing greats them with some deep "Greatest Snow on Earth".
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilot 3D
The Silver Fork Lodge is an esoteric favorite - terrific food and quaint atmosphere.
We stayed at Solitude for a week and I think we probably ate at the Silver Fork 10 times. Great little place.
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